Thunder Bay – NEWS – The City of Thunder Bay stood down today on erecting a fence around the old Sunny’s Gas on the County Fair Mall parking lot. The vacant space has become a place that homeless people have been staying.
The group Not One More Death, along with support from other community members and some Indigenous leadership were on site today.
Not One More Death presented the city with a list of demands.
This evening the group states, “Many community members came out today to ensure that the unhoused individuals using the gas bar site were not displaced and to show the city that a fence is not an acceptable solution”.
“The fence has been delayed, for now. The city has said they will work with social service agencies to find solutions for the people who’ve been using the site. They have not confirmed whether it was the phone calls to city council members, the disdain expressed directly to the mayor or today’s action at the gas bar that prompted the change in plans but all of these taken together show that this community believes in another way forward and we will not stand idly by as human beings are dehumanized”.
The group says that “Today was also a reminder for the city that the first step in Truth and Reconciliation is truth”.
They continue stating, “We must collectively acknowledge the truth of the ongoing impacts of colonialism, systemic racism and over-policing. There is no shortcut to reconciliation. We connected with many community members who have been looking out for the people who are using this site and we will continue to keep our eyes on it as well. If these folks are displaced it will become even more difficult to follow-up and provide support and services”.
Thunder Bay has encampments in many locations across the city, where homeless people gather together.
This weekend there will be a count of homeless in the city.